MARLBOROUGH, MASS. — Skinner’s July 15 sale of Paul Lauer’s collection of Wedgwood was about 95 percent sold. The first lot of the collection was a numbered first edition copy of the Portland vase, made by Josiah Wedgwood in the last decade of the Eighteenth Century.
Wedgwood’s firing records document the production of 43 examples made between 1791 and 1796. Of that number, 11 are known to have been damaged during the firing and it is believed that only about 30 were of first quality. The provenance of this particular vase, numbered “22” in pencil on the base, can be traced back to Wedgwood’s list of subscribers for these vases. It sold for $147,000, well over the conservative estimate of $40/60,000. Other pieces of Wedgwood from the Lauer collection also did well, as did Seventeenth–Eighteenth Century English pottery from the Chappell collection and European furniture and decorative arts.
Several items were consigned by Colonial Williamsburg to benefit its acquisition fund and many exceeded estimates. Included was an exceptionally rare and complicated flintlock alarm candle clock, circa 1745. Made in Schleswig, which is now part of Germany, perhaps only about a dozen are known to exist today. Its continental history entered into Colonial Williamsburg’s decision to deaccession the piece, which sold for $52,890. A full review of the sale will follow.